XE vs WorldFirst
Both beat the banks, but how do XE and WorldFirst compare against each other when it comes to exchange rates and fees?
We compare the fees, exchange rates and speeds of popular online services, XE and WorldFirst, to see which could be a better option for you.
The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of 12 March 2019.
XE is unavailable in Singapore
At the time of writing (February 2019), XE only allows transfers from bank accounts in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States.
For the comparisons in this review, we’ll base the numbers on a currency that is available on both transfer specialists since XE Money Transfer does not allow transfers from Singapore at the time of writing – Australian dollars (AUD).
Which has lower fees?
XE doesn’t charge transfer fees on international money transfers.
There are no transfer fees to worry about when you send money overseas with WorldFirst. However, your recipient’s bank may charge a receiving fee.
Both providers don’t charge fees. This means they make their money on the exchange rate mark-up, so it’s important to pay close attention to the rate you get quoted.
Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 to Hong Kong
Let’s compare a transfer to Hong Kong dollars to see which provider puts more money in your receiver’s pocket. As both providers don’t charge fees, the key variable to compare is the exchange rate.
Sending $1,000 to Hong Kong
|Exchange rate||1 AUD = 5.4748 HKD||1 AUD = 5.4738 HKD|
|Transfer speed||Same day||1 day|
|Total Hong Kong dollars received||HKD$5,474.8||HKD$5,473.75|
|Receiver gets||HKD$1.05 more||HKD$1.05 less|
XE and WorldFirst are very similar, but XE gives you a slightly better exchange rate, resulting in an extra HKD$1.05 for the receiver (which is less than one Australian dollar).
Which offers better exchange rates?
XE adds a margin to the mid-market exchange rate, normally between 0.4% and 1%. Make sure you confirm what the XE transfer exchange rate is prior to committing as it’s a different rate than what is shown on the currency converter tool (which shows the mid-market rates).
WorldFirst also adds a margin to the mid-market exchange rate. It tends to average 1% above the mid-market rate.
XE and WorldFirst offer very similar exchange rates. While XE offers a slightly better rate on Hong Kong dollars, WorldFirst tends to be marginally better as a whole. Both providers charge a relatively low range margin.
Which is faster?
The biggest benefit of XE is that most transfers are made within the same day, if not the hour. XE will provide an estimate of the arrival date when you set up the transfer.
Some transactions may take longer as it’s dependent on the receiver details, but generally, XE provides a quick transfer service.
WorldFirst transfer speed depends on a few things, particularly the currency you’re sending or buying, the bank and the amount.
Usually, pound sterling, US dollar or euro transfers are made the same day that WorldFirst receives your funds, clearing by the following day. However, with other currencies, it’s usually between one and four days.
If you need your funds to arrive by a certain date, WorldFirst recommends you call for advice on how to ensure your money arrives on time.
XE generally has faster transfer speeds across the board, offering same-day transfers in most cases.
|Payment methods||Receiving options||Max and min||Transfer speeds||Currencies|
|XE||Bank transfer||Bank account||Minimum: $1
|1 day||40+ currencies|
|WorldFirst||Bank transfer||Bank account||Minimum: $2,000
Maximum: No limit
|1 - 2 days||60+ currencies|
Once you’ve set up your account and provided the documentation needed, get a quote. You’ll need to tell XE how much you’re transferring and where the money is going.
If you’re happy with the quote, you send the payment and XE will complete the transfer. You can track your transfer on the website and XE will also keep you up to date via email and SMS.
WorldFirst is an online transfer service, meaning you do everything online. Once you’ve set up your WordFirst account, you provide all the transfer details – the recipient, how much you’re sending and your payment details.
After that, you finalise the transaction and WorldFirst will send your money.
XE and WorldFirst are very similar in terms of fees and exchanges rates; however, XE comes out on top in the end. XE offers faster transfer times and has a minimum transfer amount of $1, while WorldFirst’s minimum is $2,000.
However, it’s always worth checking both providers’ exchange rates for the currency you’re transferring, just in case.
Looking for more options?
Use our comparison calculator below to weigh up the fees, exchange rates and other details of money transfer providers out there.